HERE AND NOW: Young and not so young, household names and niche players, rich, struggling, on the cusp, in their prime, or still going strong after decades in the game, London’s fashion crowd is nothing if not a complex mosaic of personalities.
Tania Fares and Sarah Mower have aimed to snap a picture of the fashion crowd in a coffee table book that’s published this week, “London Uprising: Fifty Fashion Designers, One City” (Phaidon).
The book is a paean to 50 London-based talents ranging from Margaret Howell, Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood to other establishment names such as Tom Ford and Stella McCartney, to emerging designers Molly Goddard, Sophia Webster and Thomas Tait.
It also includes a recent history of London fashion, and the moment a decade ago when it started flourishing once again thanks to a new generation of designers such as Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou and Roksanda Ilincic, who studied under the late Prof. Louise Wilson at Central Saint Martins.
Mower penned many of the profiles, while other writers include Alexandra Shulman, Tamsin Blanchard, Susannah Frankel, Lisa Armstrong, Rebecca Lowthorpe and Melanie Rickey. Portraits were shot by photographers including Tara Darby, Mary McCartney and Nigel Parry. The book also features a pullout map of London showing the designers’ studios.
Fares, a cofounder of the British Fashion Council Fashion Trust, which supports and mentors young designers, said in an interview the idea was to draw “fresh attention” to London and its creatives and to represent a cross-section of where London is now in terms of talent. “Revenue or number of years in the business were not as important as talent,” said Fares in describing the criteria for inclusion.
Fares believes London is a breeding ground for talent because it offers designers so much. “It’s a tolerant place, one that accepts creativity. It has free museums and university talent like Louise Wilson and Fabio Piras.” Piras took Wilson’s place as course director of Central Saint Martins’ MA Fashion program.
The book on London is just the beginning and Fares said that she’d ideally like to focus on other cities. “There are a lot of things happening in L.A. right now, the lifestyle, the creative people, the costume designers,” she said. “As of now, though, it’s just an idea.”